Skip to main content

Full text of "Alumni Columns"

See other formats

Magazine Fall 2011 

Northwestern State University of Louisiana 

,5 ^.-tjr'rMi,^ 

In the Movies 

Dr. Randall J. Webb, 1965. 1966 

President, Northwestern State University 

Dear Alumni, 

On July 1, I was privileged to be able to celebrate 15 
years as president of Northwestern State University. It has 
been an honor to serve this fine institution and play a role in providing educational 
opportunities for students. 

Any university president inherits a legacy that has to do with the accomplishments 
of students, alumni and faculty and staff and the work done by administrators, board 
members and legislators. You stand on the shoulders of those who have gone before 
you. I have been fortunate to know many of the outstanding people who have served 
Northwestern over the years and it is humbling to follow in their footsteps. 

Northwestern is a different institution that it was in the mid-1990s and the changes 
made over the years have helped the university grow. 

More private scholarships for students and support for faculty are available due to 
the generosity of alumni and friends of Northwestern. Renovation has brought new life 
to Russell Hall, Morrison Hall, Williamson Hall and the Family and Consumer Sciences 
Building. The Intramural Building is now the Wellness, Recreation and Activity Center, 
which is heavily used by students, faculty, staff, alumni and fnends of NSU. A new 
Student Support Center will open In January and we soon hope to start a renovation 
project on East Caspan Hall. Northwestern also replaced outdated residence halls with 
University Place Phase I and II. 

Northwestern has instituted admissions standards for the first time, helping us 
attract better students. The average ACT score of incoming freshmen at NSU exceed 
the state and national average. Retention rates have increased. The university set 
records for the number of graduates in a calendar year in 2010 (1,955) and for the 
number of graduates in an academic year in 2010-11 (2,043). 

E-learning has become increasingly important for Northwestern. The university 
has 28 degree programs online, more than any other public college or university in the 
state. More than half of the students at NSU take an online class each semester. 

Through all the changes, our faculty and staff have never lost their focus on 
student success. At Northwestern, we are in the life changing business and we work to 
be a positive force for change every day. 

I am proud to be an alumnus of Northwestern State University. I thank you for your 
continued support of this special university. 

William Drake Owens, 2004, 2005 

Director of University Advancement 

My fellow Alumni, 

By the time this edition of Alumni Columns reaches you. 
we will be in our final preparations for Homecoming 2011. I 
hope that many of you are planning to join us for an exciting 
weekend of activities, reunions and celebration. 

We have much to be thankful for at NSU. As you may know, we are now in our 
final year of our capital campaign, "Excellence: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow." As 
we near our goal, please know how appreciative the NSU family is to you, our deeply 
supportive alumni. Your positive response to our campaign will play an invaluable role 
in ensunng that our alma mater remains a vibrant place of learning and discovery and 
a resource to the entire northwest Louisiana region. We ask that you continue to do all 
that you can to support Northwestern, through your gifts, your presence at events or by 
encouraging prospective student to explore what we have to offer. 

NSU has a nch hentage and a vision of excellence. With your assistance we are 
able to continue to move forv/ard toward a bnght future. 

Alumni Columns 

Official Publication of 

Northwestern State Lni\ersity 

Nalchit(K'hes. Louisiana 

Organized in 1 SS4 

A member of C.-XSL 

Volume X.XI Number 3 Fall 2011 

The Alumni C olumns (USPS (115480) is published 

quarterl) by Northwestern State University. 

Natchitoches. Louisiana. 71497-0002 
Periodicals Postage Paid at Natchitoches. La.. 

and at additional mailing offices. 

POSIMAS TLR: Send address changes to the 

Alumni Columns. Northwestern State Lni\ersil\. 

NatchiliK-hes. La. 71497-0002. 

Alumni Ollice Phone: 318-357-4414 and 888-799-6486 

FAX: 318-357^225 • F:-mail: owensdw 


President Joseph H. Slamey. Natchitoches. 1983 

Vice President Tommy Chester. NatchiliKhcs. 1969 

Secretary -Treasurer Dr. Lisa Mathews. Uenton. 1992 

F.xecutive Director W. Drake Owens. 

Natchitoches. 2004, 2005 


Matt Bailey Shrcveport 2003 

Jerry Brungart Nalchitix-hes. 1969. 1971 

Monty C hicola Alexandria. 1979. 1980 

Leonard Fndris Shrevepon. 1974. 1975 

Ken (iuidry NatchittKhes. 1972 

Bobby lleben New Orleans. 1983 

Ires Hill Carencro. 1985 

Adrian Howard Bedford. TX. 1989 

Patricia Hrapmann New Orleans, 1973. 1978 

(iail Jones NalchcA 1981. 1998 

Matt Kour>' Leesxille. 1995 

.Angela Lasyone Natchitoches. 1986 

Bryant Lewis Haynessillc. 195K 

Carroll Long Longvicw. TX. 1970 

l)a\id Morgan Austin. TX. 1973 

Kip Patrick Washington, DC, 1995 

ClillPoimboeuf Shrc\cpoa 1984 

Denise Que/aire Baton Rouge. 2005 

(ilenn I'albert Shrexeport. 1964 

Casey Jo Thompson Shrexeport. 2001 

( arlos Treadway Northville. Ml. 1992 

Marti \iennc Natchitoches. 1982 

Rick> Walmsley Rogers. AR. 1985 

Mike Wilbum Shre\epon. 1975 

l)r Leonard Williams New Orleans. 1993 

t harles "Buddy" Wood Many. 1981 


Mark Daniels New Orleans 

Sd A President 

Publisher W. Drake Owens. 2004. 2(X)5 

Fdilor Leah Pilcher JacLson. 1994 

( iintributoni Da\ id Wc-sl 

Di>ug Ireland. 1986 
Major Alan Hardin. 1990 

Photography Ciar\ Hardamon 

Dcsign/Layoul Beth McPherson Mann. 1975 

NSC Press Publications Office 

Northwi'storn Stiilf I'niversily is accredited by the 
(Vmmission on Colleges of the Southern Association of 
ColleRi's and Schools 1 186<i Southern Ijine. IXxiitur. (Jcorpa 
;iO();t;i-4097: Telephone number 404-679-4.50I 1 to award 
Associate. Baccalaurvate. Master and .Specialist degrcos. 

It IS the policy of Northwestern Stale I'niversitv of I^ouisiami 
not to discriminate on the bums of race, color. reliRion. 
sex, national onfpn. age, or disability in its t>ducationnl 

programs, activities iir employment practices. 

Cover Photo illustration with pyrotechnics created by Blake "Tricky" LeVasseur 

This piiblii- diH'iinieiil was published at a total cost of 
$11. 000 12.000 copies of this public document were 
piibhshed in this lirsl prmting at a o>st nf $14,(XK1 The 
total cost of nil printings of this document, including 
reprints is JM.OtM) This document was published by 
Northwestern .State I'niversity Office of I'niversity 
.Advancement and printed by Moran Printing. Inc . 
M2r< Florida H.uilevard. Haloii K.uige, LA TOKOfi to 
foslt-r and pnmiot** the mutually Ix'neticial relationship 
lielwi-en Northwestern .State I'niversity and itK alumni, 
supiiorters and community partners. This matenal w-as 
priiit<'<t in aixiirdanci' with stiindards for printing by state 
aurniies established pursuant to RS 4;i .11 Pnnling 
of this material was purchased in arcordano' with the 
provisions of Title 4;t of the Ixniisiana Kevis<>d Slatues 

In the Movies 

Alumni find different roles in film projects 

'ver the last several years, Louisiana has gained a reputation as the place to 
make movies. 

Financial incentives, geographic diversity and enthusiastic crews are steadily attracting 
Hollywood filmmakers to "L.A. South," and more than a few Northwestern alumni are 
getting in on the action. 

Chad Watson (1998) 

caught the movie bug shortly 
after Hurricane Katrina 
forced the filming of 'The 
Guardian" from New Orleans 
to Shreveport. Since then, 
he has worked as both extra 
and/or crew member on films 
that include "Green Lan- 
tern," "Breaking Dawn" and 
"Playing the Field," rubbing 
elbows with Hollywood heavyweights like Nicolas Cage. 
He also appeared in a Wrangler jeans commercial that 
features Brett Favre throwing a football around with his 

This past summer, Watson was working as a pro- 
duction assistant for "Leatherface 3D," a remake of the 
horror classic "Texas Chainsaw Massacre," filmed on 
location in Mansfield, where he was overseeing the set. 

"As a production assistant, you do whatever the pro- 
duction manager tells you to. 1 love my job," he said. "I 

Chad Watson worked long, hot days on the set of 
"Leatherface 3D" over the summer. 

www. north v^ 

have no problem waking up at 3 a.m. to go to work." 

After four weeks on set, he lost 1 8 pounds, averaged 
four hours of sleep per night and saw 1 1 people hacked to 

A Haughton native, Watson, earned a math education 
degree at NSU and was teaching at North DeSoto High 
School when he heard about a casting call for extras in 
"The Guardian." He's been a movie buff all his life, he 

"1 auditioned and waited in a long line," he said. "I 
was in a scene with Ashton Kutcher that got deleted. 
Lesson learned: sometimes you put in a 15-hour day for 

But the experience inspired Watson to quit teaching 
and pursue a fiill-time career in the industry. 

"1 kept working as an extra and have been on the 
crew for two years. You work with some of the same 
people over and over again," he said. "There is a lot 
of networking and I've been fortunate to have steady 
work traveling between New Orleans, Baton Rouge and 

His first job on the crew was in filming "Battle: Los 
Angeles," in which he also appeared as an extra. In ad- 
dition to working on the crew, he is always looking for 

"One benefit of working in Louisiana is getting to 
know crew members you meet from one project to the 
next," said Watson. "I've worked with some amazing 
professionals and it's often sad when it's a rap." 

Watson's project following "Leatherface 3D" was 
scheduled as "The Paperboy" with Matthew McCo- 
naughey, Zac Efron and Tobey Maguire. 

"Every actor 1 know sweats 90 percent of the year 
worrying about their next job," he said. "Right now I'm 
taking every movie job 1 can because 1 love it. It is a 
blessing to be able to make movies in my hometown. I 
do something I love every day of my life and get paid for 

Blake "Tricky" LeVasseur (2002) puts his artistic 
skills and technical know-how to use as one who cre- 
ates sculptures and special effects for films. He can 
create anything from Styrofoam buildings to realistic 

continued on page 2 

Alumni Columns Fall 201 1 / 1 

Alumni News 

Movies continued Jroiu pcn^e I 

body parts, as well as orchestrate pyrotechnics, flip cars, 
and coordinate smoke, fire, w ind and rain for specified 

'■\\ hen you are in special effects, you ha\e to have 
talents in several different areas... welding, molding, fab- 
rication. e\en as a seamstress, when you're sewing blood 
packs into clothing and making fake body parts." he said. 

Pyrotechnics coordinated by 

Blake "Tricl<y" LeVasseur exploded on set. 

Below, LeVasseur operates a smoke machine. 

"I'm like MacGyver. I have to figure out how to make 
stunts happen, whether it's flipping a car o\er or creating 
an explosion." 

As a kid, LeVasseur "was always building things and 
rigging stuff up." He enrolled at NSU as an art major 
focused on sculpture but changed to graphic design. Ffe's 
been working with movies for four years. 

Working in the business is "all about who you know," 
he said. He sent out numerous resumes before getting 
his first job as a back-up sculptor for "\'ear One." \o that 
job, he said, he gave 1 10 percent, earning a position as 
lead sculptor on another project. He was lead sculptor for 
"Breaking Dawn." v\ here he created a castle, statues, rock 
walls and other objects out olSlyrolbam that were then 
painted by artists. 

As for special effects, he started out learning how to 
build and use machines to control smoke, w ind. rain and 

"\'ou can learn as much as \ou want as you go 

along," he said. "The effects guy gave me a chance and 
next thing 1 know V\c got a taick and Tm running a 

LeVasseur obtained a required explosives license and 
routinely coordinates gas explosions and other blow-ups. 

Working on "The Hxpendables" offered plenty of op- 
portunities for explosions, flipping cars and pyrotechnics. 

"Those are long days, sometimes 12-16 hours, and 
it's fatiguing. It can be stressful," he said. "It takes a toll 
on family life." 

Creating special effects for one scene in "Battle: Los 
Angeles" involved hand making and wrapping 90-95 
explosives. "It took a lot of man hours. Then they blew 
up in five seconds." 

LeVasseur w orks mainly in Louisiana, but has 
worked on some commercials that were filmed out of 
state. Like Chad Watson, w ith w hom he has w orked on 
previous projects," he w as occupied last summer w ith 
"Leatherface 3D." a film with no computer-generated 
special etTects. 

"It's old school." he said. 

Perks of the jobs are rubbing shoulders with stars like 
Sylvester Stalone, Jessica Biel, Gerard Butler. Stone Cold 
Steve Austin and Kim Kardashian. 

"In special etTects, you often work one on one w ith 
an actor and \ou de\elop a relationship w iih them." he 
said. "When you are putting an explosi\ e de\ ice on an 
actor or stuntman's chest, they trust that it was built cor- 

It's a profession he ne\ er expected. 

"I never would have guessed that Holl\ wood would 
come find me." he said. 

Kendrick Hudson (2001 ) is a location manager and 
an independent producer. He serves as a liaison between 
propertN ow ncrs and the production crew and has a hand 
in logistics and security. 

"It's a little bit of everv thing." he said. "I always 
wanted to be a filmmaker. I studied theatre in college and 
always had that entertainment bug." 

After graduating from NSU w ith a general studies 
degree, the Shre\eport native followed his dream to Los 
Angeles, where he worked on films directed by .lames 
Cameron and ()li\er Stone as well as other projects, run- 
ning errands and "working my wa\ up the chain." 

He has been doing scouting work in Shrexeport lor 
about se\ en years and has w orked on "Soul Man." "W." 
"\ I lope The\ Ser\e Beer in Hell" and "Trespass." 

Working as a freelancer, he's ne\er sure what his next 
project will be. but said the creati\e side of his job is his 
favorite. He plans to continue work in the business and 
sees himself producing films in the future. 

"linding a IcKation that makes a cut in the movie and 
know ing 1 had a part in it. Lhe \ isibilit\ is the biggest reward. 

2 / Alumni Columns fjll j!iV I 

Visit our website at: 

Alumni News 

Hollie E. Townsend 

(2004) and her husband 
--:^^™ Tom Townsend II (2004, 

f^^^B "^^ ^^^^1 2005) have appeared as 
^^^Mfu^fnJ^^^^M Sutras in three movies 
filmed in Shreveport. 
"The Better Man," later renamed "Welcome Home Ros- 
coe Jenkins," starring Martin Lawrence; "Major Movie 
Star" featuring Jessica Simpson and "Butter" with Jen- 
nifer Gamer. 

Townsend earned bachelors degrees in general stud- 
ies and professional writing at NSU and her husband 
earned a master's degree in English. 

"Filming was great," she said. "My husband and I 
were cast as extras. We were used in the background. 
For 'Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins' and 'Major Movie 
Star,' after we went to casting calls. For 'Butter,' howev- 
er, the people contacted us. Being on set with the direc- 
tors and other cast member was an awesome experience. 
We got to meet Martin Lawrence. That was very cool. 

"Other than being in a few plays when I was younger, 
I have never done anything like the movie work," she 
said. "It was something 1 was interested in doing in order 
to expand my resume, get me noticed by other movie pro- 
ducers, and give me more material to use in my writing. 
I met nice people on the set — hard-working people like 
you and me. It was a great experience, and 1 have been 
listening to the news, waiting for an announcement about 
the next movie. Hopefully, they will call us." 

Not all modem filmmakers are enthralled with the 
glamour of Tinsel Town, however Hollie Carter of 
Atlanta, Ga., (1978) released a documentary last year 
through her non-profit organization. Peaceful Blue 
Planet Foundation. Carter, an educator, curriculum writer 
and environmental educator, directed the documentary 
"Conejos, Undiscovered Colorado," which focuses on 
eco-tourism. Its premier in Aspen, Colo., last year was 
well received. 

"The movie encourages people to explore nature 
and enjoy the land without leaving a footprint," she 
explained. "When people get out into nature, they care 
more about it." 

The film's host and producer, Chris Collins, a leading 
member of Peaceful Blue Planet, is featured in exchanges 
with local residents about Conejos and leads the viewer 
on a tour of the rugged, scenic area near the New Mexico 
border. As an educator for the past 19 years, Hollie 
promotes the film's connection to history, geology and 
environmental sciences. 

Carter studied speech and drama at Northwestern and 
voices public service announcements for Peaceful Blue 
Planet. Although she has been involved in the perform- 
ing arts most of her life the Conejos project was her first 

foray into film. Interest in that medium mns in the fam- 
ily, however; both her sons attended film school to leam 
digital media production, work as professional videogra- 
phers and were involved with the filming and editing of 

"We had a lot of fun filming it," Carter said, describ- 
ing days in which equipment was hauled to locations via 
backpack and the occasional packhorse. With a crew of 
about 10 members all taking time off from their day 
jobs - and a budget of $40,000 collected from donors, 
shooting was completed in about 10 days. 

"Everyone brought forth their expertise in the per- 
forming arts, videography, reporting and artistic skills for 
this documentary and it came together well," she said. 
"It's been an important project." 

An east coast premier of "Conejos, Undiscovered 
Colorado" was planned for Sept. 2 in Raystown Lake, 

Carter is interested in developing future films that 
highlight other eco-tour locations and address environ- 
mental issues. 

The film is available on DVD. For more information, 
visit Readers can also search for 
the film's Behind the Scenes page on Facebook. 

iwn > 

Hollie Carter and a volunteer film crew worked on location 

to create a film about ecotourism in Colorado. 

The film was released by the non-profit group Peaceful Blue Planet. 


Alumni Columns Fall 20 11 / 3 

Alumni News 

Homecoming weekend will soon be upon us and the NSU Alumni Association invites friends to join 
in the festivities. Homecoming weekend is a time to meet with friends and classmates, reminisce about 
memorable experiences and share stories from the good old days. Whether attending a departmental 
reunion, supporting the Demons at the downtown pep rally or joining friends for tailgating festivities, we 
hope to see you in Natchitoches Oct. 13-15. 

October 13-15 

Alumni Art Show ■ Hanchey Gallery 

Thursday. October 13 

7 p.m. - SAB Concert: Quest Crew opening for Ying 
Yang Twins ■ A.A. Frederick's Auditorium 

Friday. October 14 

10 a.m. - Alumni Association Board Meeting - Red 
River Waterway Commission Building 

Noon - Homecoming Golf Tournament - NSU 
Recreation Complex 

1:30 p.m. - NSU Foundation Board Meeting ■ Red River 
Waterway Commission Building 

5 p.m. - Homecoming Parade will start at Prather 
Coliseum and end at the Natchitoches 
downtown riverbank. 

5:30 p.m. - Pep Rally - Riverbank 

6-7 p.m. - Long Purple Line Reception - Hanchey 

7 p.m. - Homecoming Banquet/Long Purple Line 

Induction - Student Union Ballroom 

8 p.m. - SAB Lip Sync @ A.A. Frederick's Auditorium 

Saturday. October 15 

8 a.m. - Homecoming 5K Fun Run/Walk - WRAC 

9 a.m. - N Club Hall of Fame Induction - Magale 

Recital Hall 

10 a.m. - College of Education and Human 

Development Reunion - TEC 

11 a.m. - School of Business Reception • Russell Hall, 

Natchitoches Room 

Noon - Demon Regiment ROTC Open House - 
James A. Noe Military Science Building 

1 p.m. - Tailgating Activities - Collins Pavilion 

(Free food and musical entertainment - bring the 
whole family!) 

5:30 p.m. - Pregame Activities - Turpin Stadium 
(Honorees will be recognized.) 

6 p.m. - NSU vs. Southeastern - Turpin Stadium 

7:30 p.m. - Halftime Ceremonies • Turpin Stadium 
(Honorees will be recognized.) 

8 ■ 11 p.m. - Boogie on the Bricks - Front Street, 
downtown Natchitoches 

* Times and location of events is subject to change. 

Please verify events through sponsoring departments 

or by calling the Alumni Center at (318) 357-4414 

or visiting 

4 / A/u/fi/n L\->/i//fi/!.'< f'j// A''/ / 

Visit our wvb.sitcJ 

Alumni News 

SON Centennial continues with Fall reunion 

The Spirit of Northwestern Demon IVIarching Band will continue to celebrate 
the band's centennial with a fall reunion Friday, Sept. 30-Saturday, Oct. 1. 

Friday's events include a recital by alumnus 
Josh Arvizu, principal oboist with the U.S. Navy 
Band in Washington, D.C. A reception for all 
band alumni follows in Hanchey Gallery. 

Those arriving too late for the recital are 
encouraged to attend the reception. 

Saturday's events include a tailgate party 
prior to the NSU-McNeese football game and 
recognition of alumni band members during 

For more information, contact Jeff 
Mathews, associate director of bands, at (318) 
357-4450 or e-mail 

Hernandez seeking partnerships, opportunities for School of Business 

Antonio "Tony" Hernandez is 
chief development officer for the 
Northwestern State University School 
of Business. The privately-funded 
position was created to identify stake- 
holders for the School of Business, 
promote partnerships between the 
school and the business community 
and to develop programs that mutu- 
ally benefit the students, alumni and 
economic development initiatives. 
Hernandez is a 1982 graduate 
of Northwestern, where he earned a degree in social sciences 
and was a member of Kappa Sigma fraternity. As a student, he 
worked on campus in the recruiting and alumni offices be- 
fore embarking on a career in customer service and corporate 
sales for private companies. He returned to Northwestern as 
assistant director of development in 2009. He began his duties 
as chief development officer for the School of Business last 

"My job is not only bringing in funds but also bringing in 
corporate partners and business partners to help with recruiting, 
job placement and internships," he said. He hopes his efforts 
help create networking opportunities for students and busi- 

Hernandez plans to organize social events for School of 
Business graduates throughout Louisiana to encourage stew- 
ardship and involvement in programs available to alumni and 
supporters. He hopes to originate a School of Business wom- 
en's group, resurrect a business law group and would like to 
develop a Professional Advisors Association that would include 

attorneys, accountants and financial advisors. The association 
not only supports scholarship initiatives but also present fo- 
rums for the public to address financial planning, tax issues and 
other topics of interest. He is working to establish an endowed 
professorship and would like to coordinate partnerships be- 
tween the School of Business, the Natchitoches Area Chamber 
of Commerce and the Small Business Development Center. 

"We are excited to welcome Tony to this new position. 
Tony is an energetic and dedicated individual and should 
prove to be a great asset to and integral part of the School of 
Business," said Dr. Nat Briscoe, professor and director of the 
School of Business. 

"The faculty in the School of Business are strong leaders 
in fundraising efforts, in providing contacts and traveling with 
me to meet prospective corporate partners," Hernandez said. 

NSU alumnus David Morgan (1975) funded the position 
with the intention that it will eventually be self-sufficient and 
hopes to create interest in other individuals to initiate similar 
positions for other academic disciplines. 

"In these tough economic times, everyone has cut back and 
NSU needs all the support it can get," Morgan said. 

Hernandez is currently organizing a School of Business 
Annual Campaign with four levels of stakeholder giving op- 
portunities. His goal is to raise $500,000 by June 30, 2012. 
Funds will be used for scholarship, student recruitment, faculty 
research, job fairs and alumni initiatives. 

For more information or the to explore opportunities 
through the NSU School of Business, contact Hernandez at 
(318) 357-4243 or e-mail hemandeza(a) . 

Scholars' inaugural class will celebrate 20th anniversary 

raduates of the Louisiana 
Scholars' College are invited 
to the 20-year reunion of the 
inaugural class, on Oct. 7-9. The 
event includes a Friday evening 
dinner, a Saturday afternoon picnic 
on the lawn near Russell Hall and 
an evening function on Saturday. 

Established in 1987 as the state's only designated honors college for liberal 
arts, Scholars' offer students the opportunity to pursue their academic and 
personal goals in a supportive atmosphere. The core curriculum combines 
great books-based courses with courses in mathematics and sciences to pro- 
vide students with a strong foundation for their more focused study in one of 
our concentrations or in a traditional major. 

For more information on the reunion or to be included on a mailing list, con- 
tact Associate Director of Alumni Affairs Haley Blount at (318) 357-4415 
or or Andrea Elmore at . 

Alumni Columns Fall 201 7/5 

Alumni News 

Giddens named Louisiana Teacher of the Year 

Northwestern State University alumna April 
Jcssup Giddens. a sixth grade English 'language arts 
teacher at Natchitoches Magnet School, was recog- 
nized as Louisiana's 2012 Teacher of the Year during 
the fifth annual Cecil J. Picard Educator Excellence 
Svmposium and Celebration. Giddens earned a 
bachelor's degree in elementary education at North- 
western in 1996 and a master's degree in 1998. Dur- 
ing her 15-year teaching career, she taught at NSU 
Middle Lab School and for the last four years has 
been at Natchitoches Magnet. 

"I feel so blessed to be chosen. It's very hum- 
bling and I'm very excited," Giddens said. "This 
casts a positive light on Natchitoches and on North- 

"Teachers like Ms. Giddens are the backbone of 
our educational system," said Acting State Superin- 
tendent ol' Education Ollie Tyler. "She and others 
are shaping the lives and future of our children, and 
we enjoy thanking them in this very special way." 

Giddens was selected from 24 regional finalists 
for Louisiana Teacher of the Year. She submitted a 
portfolio May 27 and went through an interview pro- 
cess prior to the symposium, which concluded with 
a banquet and the awards ceremony. Also announced 
during the event were the 201 1 Superintendent of 
the Year, and the 2012 Teachers and Principals of 
the Year for elementary, middle and high school. 
Giddens' principal Julee Wright ( 19S3), a finalist for 
Principal of the Year, and Natchitoches Parish Super- 
iiilcndent of Schools Dr. Derwood Duke ( 1974) were 
present when the award was presented. 

Included among the many prizes Giddens 
receives are use of a Mercedez-Benz for one year, a 
SMART Board "^' with projector and software from 
SMART Technologies and $5,000 from Dream 
Teachers, a non-profit organization that recognizes 
Louisiana educators and educational leaders. 

The SMART technology and software "will be a 
key component in my classroom this fall." Giddens 
said. "There are parents whose children I will ha\e 
as students this year who have let me know how 
excited they are." 

A graduate of Florien High School in 1992. 
Giddens is married to Mike Ciiddens. a 1994 North- 
western graduate, and has three children, Hannah, 
Timothy and Emma. She credited the exceptional 
teachers she had at EUirien, as well as her facull\ 
mentors at Northwestern, for her success. 

"There are teachers I had at Florien and at Northwestern 
who were strong role models for me," she said. "1 feel like 1 
need to thank all those teachers for preparing me." 

"These distinguished educators and educational lead- 
ers are a fine representation of the high-qualit\ teachers and 
principals we are fortunate to have in Louisiana." said Penny 
Dastugue, president of the Board of EIementar\ and Second- 
ary Education. "We should all thank them and recognize 
them for their hard work to impro\ e the lives and futures of 
Louisiana's children." 

In April 2012, Giddens represents Louisiana at the Na- 
tional Teacher of the >'ear e\ent in Washmgton. D.C.. where 
she and other \op teachers from around the countr\ will be 
introduced to President Barak Obama. 

"I w ish e\er\ teacher could get this award." Giddens 
said. "I here are so main deserving teachers out there." 

6 / Aliinini Coluiiuis F:ill 201 1 

Visit our website a 

Campus News_ 


A champ on and off the field 

Trecey Rew's collegiate resume is 
long, and strong. 

Her NSU track and field career con- 
cluded this summer with a spectacular 
trifecta: winning a national champion- 
ship, earning Academic All-America 
honors, and being named the national 
field events scholar-athlete of the year. 

The icing on the cake came in early 
August, when the Garland, Texas, native 
was named the NCAA Division I Field 
Events Women's Scholar-Athlete of 
the Year by the U.S. Track & Field and 
Cross Country Coaches Association. 

Rew won the NCAA discus title 
with a school-record of 192-4 throw on 
June 8. She also earned second-team 
All-America honors in the shot put by 
finishing 1 5"^ at the 20 1 1 NCAA Champi- 
onships in Des Moines, Iowa. 

After graduating in May 2010 with 
a 3.86 grade point average in broadcast 
journalism, Rew posted a perfect 4.0 in 
her first year pursuing a master's degree 
in sport administration. 

Later in June, Rew was voted to 
the Capital One Academic All-America 
Track and Cross Country Team as a 
second-team Academic All-America 
selection. She was listed on one of three 
15-woman teams chosen by a College 
Sports Information Directors of America 

Rew earned the 13"" Academic 
All-America Award by an NSU student- 
athlete since 1986. It is the first won by 
an NSU track and field competitor in 
what is traditionally one of the toughest 
Academic All-America teams to make. 
A third of the 45 women honored have 
perfect 4.0 GPAs, including seven on the 
first team. 

Voting for Academic All-America is 
done by a national CoSIDA committee, 
which considers first-team All-District 
winners from eight regions around the 

Rew is the first Lady Demon to cap- 
ture a national title. She gave the North- 
western track and field program its third 
NCAA crown and first since 1990, when 


Brian Brown won the NCAA Indoor 
championship with a 7-8 leap in the high 
jump. Brown also won the 1989 USA 
Outdoor title by clearing 7-7. 

The first NCAA track and field 
championship captured by NSU came in 
1981, when the foursome of Victor Oatis 
Joe Delaney, Mario Johnson and Mark 
Duper won it all in the 4x100 meter 
relay. NSU remains the only FCS-level 
Division I school to win an NCAA relay 
title, indoors or outdoors. 

Rew swept the Southland 
Conference Indoor and Out- 
door Track and Field Student- 
Athlete of the Year honors. 
She finished her career with 
eight individual Southland 
titles, winning the confer- 
ence Field Event Athlete 
of the Year award in the 
final three SLC champion- 
ships she entered. 

The Louisiana Sports Writ- 
ers Association named her the 
201 1 state Female Field Events 
Athlete of the Year on the All- 
Louisiana Team. 

She is a three-time 
All-America recip- 
ent in the sport by virtue 
her finishes in the shot put and 
discus at the last two NCAA 
Outdoor Championships. She 
was ninth in the 2010 NCAA 
meet in the shot put. 

The school and Southland 
Conference record holder in both 
events, she has personal bests of 
192-4 in the discus and 57-0 'A in 
the shot. Competing against some 
of the world's best in late June at 
the USA Track and Field Champion- 
ships, Rew finished seventh in the 
discus and 1 5"' in the shot put. 

Rew will remain in graduate 
school at NSU and will train for 
international competition heading into 
the 2012 Olympic year. She ultimately 
plans to go into coaching. 

Alumni Columns Fall 20 1 1 / 7 

Alumni News 


^ Michelle Hendrix-Nora, profes- 
sional educator at Beloit Memorial 
High School in Beloit, Wis., earned 
a Herb Kohl L'ducational Foundation 
Teacher Fellows Award. Hendrix- 
Nora is a special education teacher, 
specializing in math and work skills 
areas of instruction. She received her 
bachelor's degree at Hampton Uni- 
versity in Virginia (2002), Master of 
Arts in Advertising Design from the 
Academy of Art University in Cali- 
fornia (2004), and her Master of Arts 
in Special Education from North- 
western State University (2008). 

Hendri.x-Nora developed the 
Knightingales group for students to 
use cheer, dance and other spirit- 
related performances to enhance and 
promote the spirit of the high school 
community. In addition to the work 
put into routines and event-planning, 
students in the group are encouraged 
to embody Purple Knight ideals by 
volunteering to give back to their 
community, promote respect among 
the student body and strive to achieve 
their potential in education and life. 

An active participant in both 
school and community, she is active- 
ly involved in the Merrill Communi- 
ty Center, Boys & Girls Club, Delta 
Sigma Theta Sorority and in her 
church as president of the publicity 
and education committees, member 
of the Youth Advisory Board, Vaca- 
tion Bible School teacher and Free 
Hot Lunch Program \(ilunteer. 

w Pottery by Wayne Horton 
(1970) was featured in June at the 
Schepis Museum in Columbia. La. 
Horton received a bachelor's degree 
in advertising design at NSU and a 
master's in ceramics at University 
of Louisiana at Monroe. He retired 
after 33 years as an art teacher at 
Bastrop High School and is now on 
faculty at ULM. 

^ The late Al Dennis Jr. (1968) 
was inducted into the Grambling 
Legends Sports Hall of Fame in July. 
Dennis, a New Orleans native and 
World War II veteran, was one of 
Grambling's most celebrated early 
football captains. Playing from 
1946-49, he was a two-time All- 
America blocker for future College 
Hall of Famer Paul "Tank" Younger. 
In 1 968, he became the first African- 
American to receive a master's de- 
gree in health and physical education 
from NSU. He coached and taught 
for more than 45 years, notably at 
Brown High in Springhill. 

Susan Urankar McCormick 
(1972) and Eliot Knowles (1966. 
1972) were friends while married 
to others for more than 40 years. 
Both of their spouses passed 
away and the two reconnected 
two years ago. Susan Is a surgi- 
cal nurse and runs a dog train- 
ing center In Haughton. Eliot has 
been the director of Rutherford 
House In Shreveporl for 36 years. 
The two marhed in Oaks Bluff on 
Martha's Vineyard when they ar- 
ranged to have the ceremony on 
the Island as part of a three-week 
cruise. "Love can happen at any 
age," Eliot writes. 

w Army Col. James F. Bowie 

(1980) was honored with a retire- 
ment ceremony in July recognizing 
3 1 years of ser\ ice. The event was 
held at Stafford House at Camp 
Beauregard. Before his retirement, 
he completed a three-\ear active 
duty assignment w ith the Louisiana 
National Guard as the state inspector 
general. Bowie commissioned into 
the transportation corps in 1980. He 
held many positions, including times 
as the commander of the 765* Trans- 
portation Battalion in Fort Eustis, 
Va., and served a combined total of 
eight years in Korea. 

Bowie's awards and decorations 
include the federal and Louisiana Le- 
gion of Merit, Defense Meritorious 
Ser\ ice Medal, numerous Meritori- 
ous Service Medals and Army Com- 
mendation Medals, the Army Supe- 
rior Unit Award and the Army StatT 
Identification Badge. Bowie was 
named the senior Army instructor for 
the Junior Reserv e Otlicers' Train- 
ing Corps at McKinle\ High School 
in East Baton Rouge for the 20 1 1 - 1 2 
school year. After graduation from 
NSU, Bowie earned master's degrees 
from Webster University and the U.S. 
Army War College. 

^ Carl Maddox was among the 
outstanding athletes, coaches and 
administrators to be inducted into 
the LSU Athletic Hall of Fame this 
year. The long-time athletic director 
was inducted posthumously. A 1932 
graduate of Louisiana Normal Col- 
lege, he died in 1996 at the age of 83. 
Maddox served as athletic direc- 
tor at LSU from 1968-78 during 
\\ Inch time he was responsible for 
unprecedented growth in LSU's 
athletics facilities and the dawn of 
ilic age of women's varsity sports on 
campus. Maddox served in various 
capacities at LSU for a quarter of a 

8 / Alumni Columns Rill 201 1 

Visit our website at 

Alumni News 

Martha Koury of Leesville was recognized as an honorary 
alumna of Northwestern State University. Mrs. Koury and her 
husband Gene Koury annually host the Leesville Recruiting Re- 
ception and support NSU through the Alumni Annual Fund and 
the Athletic Annual Fund. Gene Koury is a 1963 graduate of 
Northwestern. The couple's son. Matt Koury. is a 1995 gradu- 
ate of NSU and their daughter-in-law, Martha Hooper Koury, a 
2003 graduate, is the coordinator of student services at NSU's 
Leesville campus. NSU President Dr. Randall J. Webb presented 
the honor to Mrs. Koury during a luncheon in Natchitoches. 

More than 30 alumni and initiates of 
Kappa Alpha order from the 1960s to 
the 1970s gathered at the Natchitoches 
Shrine Club last spring to renew old ac- 
quaintances, make new ones and honor 
brother KAs who have passed away. 
Planned by Martial Broussard (1969) 
and Jim Pierson (1972) the group dined 
on catfish provided by Wayne Branton 
(1970). Members traveled from as far away as Atlanta to attend the gathering. The group plans to meet again in 2013, the 50th anniver- 
sary of the founding of KA at NSU. On the front row from left are Martial Broussard, David Centanni, Rick Githens, John Garcia, Gary Pit- 
tman, Jim Stevens, Tom Morales, Rick Oeder, Jimmie Brossette and Mike Tingle. On the back row are Mike Maloney, Tom Lawhon, Larry 
Lieux, Bubba Atkins, Denman Shaffer, Dick Robertson, Sam Cooksey, Thom Williams, Steve Shine, Duan Ferrera, Dean Caldwell, Ralph 
DeKemper, Glen Sapp, Malcolm Morris, Wayne Branton, Dickie McElhatten, Louis Ledet, David Poe, Warren Ward and Jim Pierson. Not 
shown are Mike Restovich, Tom Whitehead and John Coleman. 

century, including six years as assis- 
tant football coach from 1954-59 and 
eight years as director of the LSU 
Union from 1960-68 before becom- 
ing athletic director. The LSU Field 
House was named in his honor. 

Maddox also ser\'ed as athletic 
director at Mississippi State from 
1979-83 and in 1986 he received the 
James J. Corbett Memorial Award 
presented by the National Asso- 
ciation of Collegiate Directors of 
Athletics for lifetime achievement in 
athletic administration. He is a mem- 
ber of the Louisiana and Mississippi 
Sports Halls of Fame, the LSU Tiger 
Hall of Distinction, the Northwest- 
em State University Athletic Hall of 
Fame and the LSU Alumni Hall of 

^ Dan McDonald (1975). alum- 
nus and former sports information 
director from 1975-80, was enshrined 
in the College Sports Information 
Directors of America (CoSIDA) Hall 
of Fame last June, the highest award 
presented by the organization. As a 
student at Northwestern, he was the 
student assistant SID under Pesky 
Hill, spent two years on the campus 
newspaper - one as editor - and was 
part of the group that founded the 
schooFs first radio station, KNSU, in 
1974. He also was a stringer for Roll- 
ing Stone magazine when musician 
Jim Croce perished in a plane crash 
in Natchitoches after a concert at 
NSU. He earned his degree in three 

After one year as a sportswriter 
at the Alexandria Town Talk, North- 

western hired the 22-year-old to 
be the SID of what was about to 
become a Division I athletics depart- 
ment. After four years, he went to 
then-Southwestern Louisiana (now 
Louisiana-Lafayette), where he spent 
the next 1 9 years. 

He retired from USL to become 
senior sports writer at the Lafayette 
Daily Advertiser and over the next 
nine years has won 34 writing awards 
from the Louisiana Sports Writers 
Association, including three 'Writer 
of the Year' awards in a five-year 

Today he serves as vice president 
of McD Media, Inc., a marketing 
and public relations firm in Lafay- 
ette founded by his wife, Mary Beth 
(1981). McDonald has a daughter, 
Kristi, son-in-law Mike and three 

Aluinni Columns Fall 201 7/9 

Alumni News 

Making an Impact 

Call to Action scholarship recipients raise awareness of animal welfare 

One can nc\ er underestimate the 
impact that one or two individuals 
can ha\ c for the greater good and 
a unique scholarship initiated by 
an Northwestern State University 
alumna ofTers recipients valuable ex- 
perience in affecting positive change. 
The Call to Action Animal Welfare 
Scholarship is a project-driven award 
focused on raising awareness and 
facilitating community action to im- 
prove animal welfare through student 
initiatives. Jennifer Walsh, a 1991 
graduate of the Louisiana Scholars' 
College, initiated the scholarship 
to address animal welfare issues in 
Natchitoches and give students an 
opportunitN to develop leadership 
and community engagement skills. 

"The ideal student recipient is 
one from any academic discipline 
who wants the opportunity to com- 
plete a project that is both challeng- 
ing and rewarding in the lives they 
affect, both for animals and humans." 
Walsh said. "Recipients should not 
only be passionate about helping 
animals, but also be looking for 
real-world experience. I want them to 
reali/e that you don't have to have a 
million dollars or be a public olTicial 
to make a ditTerence." 

Scholarship criteria seek students 
who are motivated, task-oriented and 
accomplishment driven. Hach must 
submit a proposal and participate in 
an interview process before selection. 

"My goal was to make our ani- 
mal shelter a more w elcoming place 
and increase adoptions." said Shelb\ 
McCain of Natchitoches, the 2010-1 1 
recipient. McCain coordinated the 
creation of a designated area at the 
entrance of the Natchitoches Animal 
Shelter in which potential pet owners 
can become better acquainted w ith 
the animals in a friendlier environ- 

"Through this process, I have 
grown to learn better communication 
skills because 1 have had to schedule 
appointments with several different 
people and groups in order to get this 
project started." McCain said. "1 am 
a psychology major, so this project 
doesn't relate to my career field, but 
I've had a special love for animals 
for as long as I can remember and 
with this project I am finally able to 
help make a difference in animals' 

As a result of this year's inter- 
views. Walsh decided to award two 
Call to Action scholarships. Emily 
McGee of Florien and Michelle Al- 
Ibrd of Deville are recipients for the 
2011-12 academic year. 

"1 was impressed with their com- 
mitment." Walsh said. "They are both 
grounded and focused with realistic 
goals and are clearly committed to 
the projects." 

McCiee. whose interest is equine 
welfare, is developing a campaign 
called Good Horse Sense. McGee 
competes in rodeo events and was 
ahead) doing demonstrations on 
equme heallh when she heard abi>ut 
the Call [o .Action Animal Welfare 

"fhe Animal Welfare Scholar- 
ship has allowed me to expand what 
I'm doiiiLi to more sclumls in Natchi- 

toches and Sabine parishes." she 
said. "The kids love it. 1 alwavs bring 
one of my rodeo horses and 1 tr> to 
bring an abused horse and encour- 
age adoption for the abused horse." 
The abused horses come from those 
rescued bv the Humane Societv in 
Many, and McGee often has a hand 
in their rehabilitation. 

McGee dev eloped a website. a Facebook 
page and an accompanying brochure 
with tips and resource infomiation on 
recognizing and reporting abused or 
neglected horses. 

McGee is enrolled as a biology 
major at NSU and plans to pursue 
pharmacy or animal pharmaceutical 
research as a career. The scholar- 
ship is important because her savings 
over the next three vears will see her 
through pharmacv school. .As part of 
the ser\ ice project, she will present 
five equine health demonstrations per 
semester and document her progress 
in a report. She welcomes the oppor- 
tunitv to speak at fairs, rodeos, fann 
supply stores and other ev ents. 

"I generallv talk to fourth grade 
students, hut I hope to bring the mes- 
sage to high schools and 4-H pro- 
grams." she said. 

She intends to continue her pro- 
gram even after the scholarship ex- 
pires and foresees continued etTorts 
towards equine rescue and rehabilita- 
tion in her future. 

.Alford's plans are to develop a 
dog training program to benefit Hope 

1 / Alumni Columns Fall 201 1 

Visit our website a 

Alumni News 

Burns scholarship will assist Anacoco students 

After a long career as an educa- 
tor, Billy John Bums intends to spend 
his remaining years as a mentor to 
students. Burns has demonstrated his 
strong commitment to assist deserv- 
ing students from his hometown by 
establishing a scholarship at North- 
western. First preference for the Billy 
John and Judith Bums Scholarship 
will be given to an incoming fresh- 
man from Anacoco High School. 

Bums, who lives in Bossier City, 
eamed a B.A. in education at NSU 
in 1954, M.A. in 1958 and plus 30 in 
1966. Bom and reared in Anacoco, 
he taught at Anacoco High School 
for 3 1 years working at various times 
as a social studies teacher, librarian, 
assistant principal, principal, girls 
basketball coach and co-sponsor of 
the yearbook. He retired for one 
year and moved to Shreveport, where 
he taught for 14 years at Calvary 

Baptist Academy and served as prin- 
cipal from 1990-2000. Events from 
his life and career are detailed in 
an autobiography, "One Last Stroll 
Down Memory Lane," completed in 

Bums overcame tremendous 
physical challenges as a child and 
attended Northwestern on a rehabili- 
tation scholarship. 

"When I started at Northwestern. 
I didn't have a job or any money. 1 
got a rehabilitation scholarship and 
graduated in three years," said Bums, 
who after 45 years as an educator 
continues to mentor and assist col- 
lege students. 

Burns said the ideal candidate 
for the NSU scholarship would be 
someone with a financial need and 
a strong interest in attending North- 
western. As this year's recipient, 
Sydney Sterling has demonstrated 

Sydney Sterling, an honor student and 
recent graduate of Anacoco High School, 
is the first recipient of the Billy John and 
Judith Burns Scholarship established a 
for a student from Anacoco High School. 

academic achievement, involvement 
in extracurricular activities and good 
character, he said. 

"Ninety-five percent of my life is 
behind me and in my last few years 
1 am interested in helping others be- 
cause when I was at Northwestem so 
many people helped me," Bums said. 


Making an Impact continued from page JO 

for Paws, a Natchitoches non-profit organization dedi- 
cated to the rescue, rehabilitation, fostering and adoption 
of animals. Working with animals in obedience training 
improves their chance for adoption, explained Alford, 
who is a sophomore majoring in biology/pre-veterinary 

Alford's father is a dog trainer and she has years 
of experience training dogs to sit, heel, walk and obey 
other commands. 

"It's important to be patient and steady with the ani- 
mals," she said. Alford volunteers in caring for the Hope 
for Paws dogs and has participated in adoption days. 
She hopes to partner with the City of Natchitoches to 
offer dog training classes to pet owners. She was already 
considering volunteering to train the animals before she 
heard about the scholarship. The financial benefit is 
especially important now, as her father was diagnosed 
earlier this year with a life-threatening illness. 

"I wanted to be a veterinarian since I was 8 and I'm 
happy to be getting closer to that reality," she said. 

Walsh was in the first graduating class of the Loui- 
siana Scholars' College where her concentration was 
humanities and social thought. She eamed graduate de- 
grees in public affairs from the University of Texas and 

national security and strategic studies from the National 
War College. She is employed with the U.S. Secretary 
of Defense and is very involved with animal rescue in 
the Washington, D.C., area. A visit to Natchitoches in 
which she noticed a number of unhealthy, stray and feral 
animals raised her concern about animal welfare in the 

"I wanted to do something for NSU and create an 
opportunity in which students realize they can make ac- 
tion happen, they can develop their ideas and their ideas 
can be validated," she explained. 

Rather than be a one-time award, Walsh hopes 
the Call to Action scholarship will encourage students 
interested in animal welfare to take action and be held 
accountable for bringing their initiatives to fruition. 

Scholarship proposals are not limited to pets or 
domestic animals; all projects that raise awareness of 
animal welfare are considered. 

"The purpose is for students to have ownership of a 
project and see it through. This is a scholarship that will 
give them experience in working with other people and 
help them later in life," she said. "It's about them team- 
ing the value of hard work, patience, persistence and 
finding inner strength to keep going." 

Alumni Columns Fall 201 7/11 

Alumni Gatherings 

Bonnette Memorial Golf Tournament 

Members of the Bonnette family were 
present for the Bonnette Memorial Golf 
Tournament. On the front row from left are 
Ben Lambert, Vera Bonnette, Anna Vera 
Nickel and Emily Jo Lambert. On the back 
row are Danny Lambert. Paula Bonnette 
Nelson, Claire Nelson. Brian Allen Nelson, 
Lisa Bonnette Lambert, Brian Lambert, 
Randy Bonnette and Hunter Talley. 

Vera Bonnette, center, presented awards 
to first place winners in Flight One of the 
Bonnette Golf Tournament. From left are 
Zach Trichel, Drake Harrington, Bonnette, 
Jared Donahoe and Tyler Trichel. 

Vera Bonnette. center, presented 
awards to first place winners in Flight 
Two of the Bonnette Golf Tourna- 
ment. From left are Chuck Levy, 
Catherine Levy, Bonnette, Joe Bea- 
sley and Chris Levy. 

Chris Roper Golf Tournament 

First place winners in the annual Chris 
Roper Golf Tournament, held April 30 at 
Northwestern Hills, were Richard Tew, 
Bill DeCour, Rickey McBride and De- 
Wayne Mitchell. 

Second place winners were Charlie In- 
gals, Danny Nolen, Randy Robinson and 
Doyle Anderson. 

Third place winners were Sam Fowl- 
er, Bryan Edens, Steven Wood and 
Francis Deloney. 

Rick and Mary Roper, parents of the late Chris 
Roper, introduced Jackson McNeil, center, as the 
recipient of the 2011 Chris Roper Scholarship. 

There is one year left in Northwestern 
State's current Capital Campaign. 
"Excellence: Yesterday. Today and 
Tomorrow." Gifts have come in the form of 
annual fund pledges, million dollar estate 
gifts and corporate matching funds. The 
Capital Campaign total currently sits at 
$20 million and the university is striving 
to reach its goal of $25 million by June 
30, 2012. The Alumni Association would 
like to thank all of our faithful alumni that 
have supported the Capital Campaign. For 
more information on how to contnbute to 
the Capital Campaign, contact the Office of 
UniversityAdvancement at (318) 3574414. 

1 2 / Aluiuni Columns FjII 201 1 

Visit our website a 

Alumni News 

Briggs' 90th birthday swim raises funds for Cenia nursing, rad tech students 

Northwestern nursing students con- 
gratulated Dr. Harry Briggs at the 
completion of a swim across Kincaid 
Lake to celebrate his 90th birthday. 
The occasion also served as a fund- 
raiser for NSU's Cenla Center in Al- 
exandria. The benefit took place at 
Tunk's Cypress Inn. On the front row 
from left are Ansley Thiels, Jeannie 
Joy, Katrina Myers, Lauren Williams, 
Kayla Hilger, Briggs, Brandi Martin, 
Michelle Watts with daughter Lily and 
Dana Zimmerman. On the back row 
are Racquel Ravare, Michelle Shim- 
ko, Megan Basco, Justin McDaniel, 
Tiffany Achord, Paula Teta, Kara 
Johnson, Lisha Edwards and Brooke 
Cox. The May 19 event was the third 
time Briggs has completed a swim on 
Kincaid Lake and the second time the 
occasion was designated as a schol- 
arship fundraiser. Briggs, a political 
science instructor at NSU's Leesville 
campus, initiated several scholarship 
endowments to benefit current and fu- 
ture NSU students. 


Alum surprises mom with honorary scholarship 

"1"" ormer Drum Major Bruston Manuel (2003) has 

created an endowed scholarship to honor his 
-Ik. mother in thanks for her positive influence on his 
life. The Carolyn Smith Manuel Music Scholarship will 
be presented to an upperclassman music education major. 
First preference will be given to a male student who par- 
ticipates in the NSU choir and marching band. 

"My mom loves music," Bruston Manuel said. "She 
was in her high school band, the McNeese State Univer- 
sity band and she attended all my concerts. She's done 
a lot for me and I want to pay it forward. She was very 
good about letting me pave my own way." 

Carolyn Manuel, a retired math and science teacher, 
lives in Kinder. 

Bruston Manuel began his college career as a mu- 
sic education major and later changed to vocal music, 
perfomiing with the concert and chamber choirs. After 
graduating in 2003, he moved to New York City, began 
auditioning for musical theatre roles and discovered an 
affinity for the business side of Broadway. While still 
auditioning, he worked for a private family-run office, 
which influenced him to start his own company. Paper 

Boy Productions. He and a friend started the production 
company last year which has co-produced three Broad- 
way productions thus far. 

Among his fond memories of NSU, Manuel listed 
the family atmosphere and nurturing environments he 
experienced in the music department and the Spirit of 
Northwestern. As a performer, he also gained experience 
in predicting what an audience will positively respond to. 

"My training at Northwestern gave me a vast amount 
of experiences which I use to help me pick musicals that 
have a subject matter that appeal to a broad range of 
people." he said. "I often think back to when I was in col- 
lege and draw on what types of perfonnances audiences 
responded most to." 

Manuel, who also contributed to the band's uniform 
drive, surprised his mother with news of the scholarship 
on Mother's Day. 

"This year has been particularly good for me," he 
said. "I felt like the next best gift I could give my mom, 
besides going home, was something that could give 
another individual the opportunity that I had. When she 
saw the certificate, she was very honored." 


Alumni Columns Fall 201 1/13 

Alumni Updates 

Scholarship will benefit first generation students 


J. Kirby is a partner in Burleson LLP., 
marned and lives in Houston. 


Rosalyn Anne Scroggs Beall is a retired 
Rapides Parish speech therapist and 
currently employed as a speech pathologist 
with the Aurora R-8 School System. She is 
marned and lives in Cape Fair, Mo. 


Antoinette Pittman is employed by the 
Vernon Pansh School Board as a first grade 
teacher at North Polk Elementary, marned 
and lives in Fort Polk. 

^y^n J/l//efNorfi 

1931 - Nevada Self Salter May 23, 2011, 
Lake Charles 

1933 - Joe P Durham Sr, May 29, 2011, 
West Monroe 

1935 - Dr. George T. Walker, June 19, 
2011, Monroe 

1938 - Pete Antie, December 27, 2007, 


1939 - Eunice Koonce Novi/lin, June 15, 

2011, Natchitoches 

1939 - Marion C. Waguespack, July 11. 

1946- Shirley Babin Frost, May 16, 2011, 

1949 - Juanita Cordozier Kilpatnck, July 15, 
2011, Natchitoches 

1954- Ben Brewton,Apnl 14,2011, 
Houston, Texas 

1954, 1961 - Kenneth Shaw, July 26, 2011, 

1957- Daniel Chase, June 1,2011, 
Baton Rouge 

1960- WandaGunn, May5, 2011, 

1962 - Dr Dencil R Taylor. Aug. 6, 2011, 
Wichita Falls, Texas 

1965 - Dons Hanna Pitts, May 27, 2011, 

1977 - Dr Gregory Ellis Garland, April 9, 
2011, Palm Bay, Fla. 

1990- Rangi Jason Lim, May 16. 2011, 
Louisville, Ky. 

For more Alumni I pdales 

please visit our n'ch\ite: 


A Northwestern State University 
alumna and World War II veteran 
is helping first generation college 
students through an endowed schol- 
arship that was supplemented w ith 
state matching funds. The Ida l:mil\ 
Simpson First Generation Endowed 
Scholarship will be created through 
the Louisiana Board of Regents Sup- 
port fund that matches S60,00() w ith 
$40,000 to create an endowed schol- 
arship in the amount of 5100,000. 

*'Ms. Simpson inquired about 
state matching funds for scholarships 
and we informed her about an oppor- 
tunity to endow a scholarship for first 
generation college students. "" said 
Drake Owens, director of University 
Advancement and executive director 
of the NSU Foundation. 

Simpson's early life was diffi- 
cult and earning her education was a 
struggle. Bom in 1922, Simpson was 
orphaned as a child and cared for by 
neighbors and relatives. She gradu- 
ated as valedictorian of her class at 
Monterey High School and planned 
to attend nursing school, but the lady 
w ith w hom she w as li\ ing encour- 
aged her to attend college at Loui- 
siana Normal, as Northwestern was 
then know n. She enrolled on a work 
scholarship and had wanted to pursue 
journalism, but her caregiver dis- 
couraged the idea. Instead. Simpson 
earned a degree in health and physi- 
cal education. 

Follow ing graduation, she 
enlisted in the Army in 1943. Dur- 
ing a 20-year Army career, she w as 
stationed in Lngland. France, (ier- 
many and the U.S. After the war. 
stationed both stateside and abroad, 
she worked for mililaiA newspapers 
and in public inlbrmation otTices. do- 
ing public relations work ami news- 
writing, including serxnig as head of 
the public information office at Fort 
Monroe. Va. She retired in .hily 1964 
as Sgt. First Class E-7. Alter her dis- 

L > 

Ida Simpson presented a donation 
to the NSU Foundation to initiate a 
scholarship for first generation college 
students. The donation \ivas present- 
ed to Director of University Advance- 
ment Drake Owens. 

charge, she lived in New Orleans for 
20 years, where she became an avid 
golfer, before mo\ ing to Florida to be 
near friends and relativ es. She now 
resides in Washington. D.C. 

"Ms. Simpson was delighted 
w ith the prospect of creating this 
scholarship for first generation stu- 
dents and know ing that her contribu- 
tion was enhanced so much b\ the 
match." Ow ens said. "'She has a 
great lo\e for this school." 

Simpson previously supported 
Northwestern through contributions 
towards a scholarship for a female 
student earning a degree in journal- 
ism and was among the donors who 
contributed at the highest level to the 
NSU's first professorship in militarv 
science, the Demon Regiment En- 
dowed Professorship, in acknowledg- 
ment of her career of serv ice in the 
U.S. Army. For this contribution, she 
was presented with the Regimental 
Saber Award. Simpson's scholarship 
in iournalism will be awarded to a 
student pursuing a degree in com- 
munications with a concentration in 
mass communications. 

1 4 / Alumni Columns f'.ill 201 1 

Vi.sit our website at: 

Alumni News 

WHy I Love ^SV 

In September of 1961 my parents drove me from Smackover, Ark., to 
Natchitoches with a suit case, a box of bed linens, a portable type- 
writer and a clock radio. I was about to embark on a journey of which 
I had only dreamed. I was assigned to Agnes Morris Dormitory and 
it was about supper time that my family left me with my clothes un- 
packed, the bed made, many instructions and $20 in my purse. Due 
to some rearrangements in the roommate selections I found that I did 
not have a roommate so I bravely joined a group of girls who were 
going to the cafeteria. It was at one end of the square formed by the 
four freshman girl's dorms. I thought the grounds were beautiful. The 
food was slightly less exciting than the line of cute boys serving trays. 
I had never felt such freedom and independence in my life!! I was in 

Very soon I made friends and found a roommate. The courses were 
exciting, and as a nursing major I was very taken with the nursing 
skills lab and the procedures that we learned. I have yet to this day 
to see anything like those outfits we wore for PE. I loved the football 
games and when the State Fair Game was played in Shreveport midst 
the huge chrysanthemums and purple ribbons I felt I had truly arrived 
in the big city life. The Christmas lights and parades on the banks of 
Cane River were a spectacle that has stayed with me all my life result- 

ing in many adult trips on the first Saturday in December to show my 
family the lights. 

I was very sad when the time came for nursing majors to move to 
Shreveport for clinicals. I considered changing my major in order to 
stay, but my parents refused to pay out of state fees for a major I could 
get in Arkansas. Many of my friends were moving to Shreveport as 
well so we made the adjustment to the very different life style leading 
to our BSN degree. I still remember some of the patients that I worked 
with and I know our faculty prepared us well. After a semester or two, 
Florence Nightingale had nothing on us!! 

The trips back to campus to visit friends kept me connected to the 
wonderful world of Northwestern. The semesters passed quickly and 
in May of 1965 1 graduated. I returned to Arkansas and went to work in 
Little Rock. I was marhed in 1969 and we raised two daughters. I was 
widowed in 1999. That BSN degree provided me with many oppor- 
tunities over my forty year career. I worked in education most of my 
career retiring in 2005 as Director of Development and Student Affairs 
from University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, College of Nursing. 

- Benni Sue Johnson Ogden Fambwugh (1965) 

Family establishes scholarship to honor 1932 alumna 

A DeSoto Parish family is honoring 
their loved one by establishing an endowed 
scholarship in her name at NSU. The Mary 
Leigh Marshall Gallaspy Endowed Scholar- 
ship will be awarded to a junior or senior 
enrolled in the Department of Family and 
Consumer Sciences at NSU. Preference will 
be given to a student first from DeSoto Par- 
ish and second from Sabine Parish. 

The Mary Leigh Marshall Gallaspy En- 
dowed Scholarship was established through 
a donation to the NSU Foundation from the 
Gallaspy family and the San Patricio Cattle 
Company, LLC. who contributed $120,000 
to the scholarship. 

Mary Leigh Marshall Gallaspy was 
bom Feb. 23. 1913, in a log house on Al- 
lendale Plantation near Stonewall to a fam- 
ily with deep roots in DeSoto Parish. She 
graduated from Stonewall High School in 
1928. the youngest graduate ever from that 
school. In the fall of 1928, she arrived at 
Louisiana State Normal College, as NSU 
was then known, and graduated four years 
later with a degree in home economics. She 
was otTered a scholarship for graduate study 
at LSU, but declined after receiving a job 
offer to teach home economics at Pelican 
High School. She arrived in Pelican by 
train from Stonewall to begin teaching in 
the fall of 1932. 

She married Francis Norman Gallaspy 
Aug. 10, 1938, and moved to his family 
home in Pelican, where she still resides. She 
ended her teaching career in 1 939 to become 
a full time homemaker. She and Norman 



? ^4 

md . 

Mary Leigh Marshall 

the San Patri- 
c i o Cattle 
C o m p a n \ 
(SPCCo) in 
1974, which » 
includes Mrs. 
G a 1 1 a s p y ^ 
children and 
dren, Gal- 
laspy, Myers 
and Garling- 
ton family 

members. After his death in 1988 she be- 
came president of SPCCo, diligently carry- 
ing out all the duties involved until five years 
ago when her health became more delicate. 
"She was a wonderful record keeper," ac- 
cording to her daughter, Kathleen Gallaspy 

"Before she turned 90, Mother did her 
own household chores as well as managing 
SPCCo. I cannot imagine a person whose 
homemaking skills could be any more per- 
fect than hers were," Myers said. "Just as 
some of her former students have com- 
mented through the years when sharing their 
memories of her appearance - 'she never had 
a hair out of place" — she seemed never to 
have anything undone in her home. There 
was never a dirty dish left to be washed and 
dried after a meal. Even today, she is un- 
comfortable if shades are not pulled down at 
the same level at each window and curtain 
ties do not match. 

"Perhaps something could be said 
about changes she has seen in her life — no 
running water, no gas or electricity or in- 
door plumbing compared to today's lifestyle. 
She has basically lived in only two houses 
throughout her 98 years - the 1 854 Allen- 
dale log house in Stonewall and the 1920s 
home in Pelican where she now resides." 

"It is obvious from Mrs. Gallaspy's very 
successful life management skills that she 
was a wonderful student and role model with 
a 'can do' spirit," said Dr. Patricia Pierson, 
head of the Department of Family and Con- 
sumer Science, which is marking a centen- 
nial this year. "Although the name of our 
profession has changed through the years, 
its mission remains to improve the lives of 
individuals, families and communities and 
Mrs. Gallaspy has certainly done that her 
entire life. She will continue to touch and 
improve students' lives through she and her 
family's marvelous generosity." 

"Our family has been blessed, espe- 
cially in recent years, by the sacrifices my 
grandparents made to build up their prop- 
erty holdings," said Dr. Leigh Ann Myers, 
professor of mathematics at NSU and Mrs. 
Gallaspy 's granddaughter. "We recognize 
the importance of NSU's commitment to 
educating the people of northwest Louisiana, 
which has continued throughout its history 
and served three generations of our family, 
beginning with my grandmother. We are 
pleased to help students and the department 
of Family and Consumer Sciences in her 


Alumni Columns Fall 201 7/15 

Alumni News 

Looking bacK 

The NSU Entertainers 

The Entertainers were a campus vocal group that represented Northwestern at events 
in Louisiana and the surrounding area by performing music from the recording in- 
dustry's biggest stars. Selection was by audition. The Entertainers from 1980-81 
included Brent Thibodaux, Natalie Craig, Don Brewer, Scott Stuart. Leigh Wood, 
Vickie Corley, Randy Walker, Mark LaCour and Jimmy Davis. Under the direction 
of Dr. William Hunt, the Entertainers performed at the Louisiana State Fair, the Red 
River Revel, in conjunction with the icviy Lewis Telethon for Muscular Dystrophy, 
the 54th Natchitoches Christmas Festival, the International Arabian Horse Associ- 
ation convention in Dallas, the 96th annual Homecoming, a television special on 
KALB-Alexandria and at many hitzh schools in the south. 

Guess Who? 

Two Queens reigned over Homecoming Fes- 
ti\ ities at Northwestern in the fall of 1960. Can 
\ou name the Homecoming Queen, the Honor- 
ary Queen and their court? 

The first fi\e alumni to call the Alumni Center 
at (318) 357-4414 with the coiTcct answers will 
win a prize. 

Pictured in the Summer 201 1 edition of Guess 
Who: Barbara Jean LUirbach. Judy Bob Rob- 
erts. Linda Lattier. Charlotte Bcebe and Vicky 

"Guess Who" winners from Summer 2011: 
Steve Murphy (1964) 
Judy Easiey (1963) 
Helen West Moses (1963) 

1 6 / Alumni L oliinms f'.ill IfOI I 

V'i.sif our website a 

fe f, 

Visit our website at 

and click on "First Time Log-In" 

or use this printed form. 

Please fill this page out as completely as possible. We are constantly revising our records and your 
information updates are vital to making the system work. The information from this form is also used for 
entries in the "Alumni Updates" section. Please make a copy of this page and give it to any NSU graduate 
who may not be on our list. We can't keep in touch with you if we can't find you! Thank you. 
V ^ 


Name: (Miss, Mrs. Mr.) 
Please Circle 

Current address:. 









NSU undergraduate degree(s):_ 
NSU graduate degree(s): 

_Year of graduation:, 
_Year of graduation:. 

During which years did you attend NSU?_ 

Which organizations were you involved in while a student at NSU?_ 

Place of employment . 
Job title: 

_Work phone:_ 

Spouse's name:. 

Is your spouse an NSU graduate? Yes 

If yes, what degree(s) did he / she earn? 

Spouse's undergraduate degree (s) 

Spouse's graduate degree (s) 


. Year of graduation. 

. Year of graduation. 

Do you have children who are potential Northwestern students? 

Please tell us their names, contact information, and what high school they attend. 

Please return to: Alumni Center • Northwestern State University • Natchitoches, LA 71497 

If you would like information from Admissions, Financial Aid or 

the NSU Athletic Association, you can contact them at the following address 

University Recruiting 

South Hall 

Natchitoches, LA 71497 
(318)357-4503 or 800-327-1903 

Financial Aid 

Room 109, Roy Hall 
Natchitoches, LA 71497 

Athletic Director 

Room 101C, Athletic Fieldhouse 
Natchitoches, LA 71497 

Northwostern State University 
Alumni Columns 
Natchitoches, LA 71497-0002 

Postage Paid 
Postal Permit 
USPS 015480 

1st Row: Juanita Miller Brumley, Helen Armadine Miller Wright, Gail Rucker Schwarzbach, Beth Savill Hill, Ellen Stella Holmes 
Craig, Marty Cooley Dnggers, Ursula Wahl Williams. Barbara Beebe Wolf, Jerre Prestndge Perry, Ann Wilson Oberle & Mary Eloise 
Caraway Walden. 2nd Row: Marie Michel Masson, Linda Fedd Culpepper, Manetta Hammock Booth, Gerry Haworth Sexton, Edith 
Mothershed Hawkins, Michaelene Beckman Flasch, Patricia Pittman Cantrell, Jo Ann R. Gregg, Judith Wright Ibsen, Nell Gatlin 
Bankston & Mary Eleanor Harper Bonnette. 3rd Row: Michelle Drane Smith, Jill Kelley Riel, Martha Louise Fletcher Hoolahan, Mary 
Sebren Jordan, Diana Jordan Hart, Sarah Oliver Todd. Rita Raye Findley Bozeman, Frances Jackson Freeman, Blanche Helen 
Miller Harnson, Sandra McCalla, Louvenia McGee Carter & Peggy Joe Robinson Pike. 4th Row: Wayne Louis Williamson, Ralph 
E. McNabb, Jr., Lovick H. Johnson, III, James Douglas Harns, John M, Millar, Frank L. Peske, Rastus O'Neil Massey, Robert Earl 
Turner, David Franklin Eason, Mack Daniel Knotts, Harry L, Goodfellow, Jerry H. Nonfood, John I. Morrow, William Paul Spillers. 
Cecil Franklin Easley, Jr., Carolyn Roberts Davenport & B.J. Lewis.